Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog

Sikki Sakka – Color Grading

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Earlier in the year, a very kind artist living in Rochester reached out to me via my page and contacted me to do the color grading for an indie music video that he and several other artists had banded together to make. The song, titled “Ngi Dem” (translation: I Remember) is a track dedicated to the loved ones of the artists who died in their home continent of Africa. The band of artists goes by Sikki Sakka, also assisted by Bachir Kane.

The music video was shot on the Red One on site in Africa, and the majority of the footage was very impressive. Tasked with color correcting the film, I set out to do the best I could.

Screenshot 2014-02-06 18.28.36


I chose to use Final Cut Pro and Apple Color to do the grading of the clip, although I am currently upgrading my home systems to use Adobe and DaVinci since I have far more computational power for Windows/UNIX packages. It was a very interesting color grading experience, some white balance had been mis-set in the shooting, some shots were over or under exposed and some preliminary editing was already done. Along with this, some quick Final Cut Pro 7 Three Color Corrector presets had been applied as well. While this made some shots difficult, it was still very enjoyable and boy, this video was shot with sound in mind. The physical audio talent of the members of Sikki Sakka was incredible, and the audio mastering was done very professionally. This was particularly important because over the course of the color grade, I probably saw this feature about 200 times! That’s a really painful experience if the audio is awful! (Thankfully it was great – and had lots of bass) so it really boiled down to a pleasant experience in the edit bay. Here are some neat before and after screen caps of one of the lead rappers!

Screenshot 2014-02-06 18.37.11

Before Apple Color pass


Screenshot 2014-02-06 18.37.12

After Apple Color pass!

After the project was done, I was told the final render was to be sent off to Africa where it would broadcast across various countries! Hopefully Sikki Sakka is doing well and their music is continuing to spread, best of luck to you guys!


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